Saturday, April 6, 2013

Just Playing With My Pens

Tomorrow my friend, Brenda is coming to play.  I thought I'd show her that I really have been practicing with my Spectrum Noir pens.  I'm a product of water color markers, so trying to teach an old dog new tricks has been an adventure for me.   I'm 67 and I'm loving learning something new!

Here's what I've learned so far....I love the vibrancy of my Spectrum Noir pens and I love the price.  When I was thinking (and I did so for about a year) about which pens to purchase, Copics or Spectrum, I chose the Spectrum because of the price.   In comparing the two brands, I think the ink is the same, both give great color.  I've found the Copics have a more brush like tip, and the Spectrum's tips are a bit more stiff.  I'm still learning to blend.  I think when you come from a water color background you tend to be careful blending so you don't have mush.  What I like about the Spectrum pens, you can blend and blend and you don't really get mush.  I'm still working on leaving light areas, but I'm feeling more confident about going over the areas more than once. 
Painting in the background scared the holiness out of me.  Once I got started I found it was pretty easy, and the upside, if you stop and start, you don't have lines.  That's really cool!  If you like to futz with your coloring, you can futz away.  I did a lot more playing with the snowman and I may go back and play some more.  The little mice need work and that's a plan I have for later today. 

Don't get me wrong, I still love my watercolor markers, and I do like the softer  colors I can get with them. I like how easy it is to leave white space.  My little snowman was water colored.   The water color pens are a great choice money wise. I've had my Tombow markers for over 10 years, I've used them often, very often actually, and I've only had to replace a few of them.  You will be refilling your alcohol markers quite often, I suggest you keep track of the ones you use most often and purchase refills for them.  It seems the lighter shades need to be refilled more often.  Refilling is very easy, keep in mind the big thing to remember is don't over-fill them. 

The bottom line, as one of my co-workers would say, is... The question you need to ask yourself is...what do I want from my pens?  There is a learning curve with each, and  they both are investments.  Both will serve you well.  I guess I should add, my comments are what I'm learning, I don't get paid to say anything I've said.  It's just me, just sayin!

I really want people to know  Copics aren't the only pens on the market, and though the Spectrum Noir pens are less known, the results are equal to the Copics.  Spectrum also has tons of videos and PDF tutorials on their blog page.  Check them out here.  It's a great place to learn.  I've got lots to learn, and I guess I should stop yapping and get busy learning.

Have a most wonderful weekend.
Hugs from Northern California
Mary AKA:  Glitter Grammy


  1. Your Snowman is the tops. I like working with Distress Markers, promarkers less so.Don't know a lot about the Spectrum Noir pens so nice to hear what you think about them. Good to also know they have videos and tutorials so off to have a moosey over and glean a bit of basic knowledge. Thanks for the link. Hugs Mrs A.

  2. Beautiful colouring on all images Mary. I use Pro Markers and love them, but still like to watercolours for certain types of image - isn't it fun to have so much choice now too. When I was a girl................ :))

    Hugs, Di xx

  3. Your coloring is coming along nicely! I appreciate you sharing your journey with these markers. Keep learning and having fun!

  4. Well I think you've coloured these beautifully Mary. It's great fun practicing with alcohol inks. I mainly use Promarkers, but Copics or SN pens are pretty much the same . . . just the brush ends are different like you said.

    Sarn xx

  5. I love the effects you are getting. I have never used watercolor pens but am definitely going to search for some. I really appreciate your comments about each product and will add your blog to my follow list. Do you make your cards just for friends or do you sell them?


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